Li Baiguang’s 2008 Democracy Award Speech

I am grateful to NED for giving me the 2008 Democracy Award, which is great encouragement for me to continue to utilize the law to advance religious freedom in China

In the past 3 decades, China has achieved rapid economic development but political reforms remain relatively stagnant, and in some aspects have even deteriorated.

The result of a lack of supervision and checks and balances within China’s one party system is that China is lagging behind in advancing freedom, democracy, human rights, and rule of law.

However, my experiences tell me, that using law to protect citizens’ rights and freedom can play a role in restricting abuses of official authority and in empowering citizens in China.

  As a lawyer, and with the support of my fellow countrymen and the international community, I will continue to utilize the law to fight arbitrary abuse of power, to educate officials, to seek justice for victims of rights abuses, and promote rule of law in China.